Mexican officials have condemned the rise of fatal shootings by US border patrol and customs agents, who have killed at least 18 Mexican nationals over the past two year. In a recent interview, Mexican Ambassador to US Arturo Sarukhan strongly criticized the US use of deadly force at the border between the two countries, especially the killings of rock throwers.
“Mexico strongly rejects, and has never, nor will ever tolerate the discharging of firearms across international borders and into Mexican territory by any U.S. law enforcement agent or individual,” said Mexican Ambassador to the US Arturo Sarukhan.On Tuesday, US Border Patrol reported the latest deadly shooting by a Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent, making it the third during this past fall. About half of the 18 victims were rock throwers, including a 16-year-old, who was shot multiple times by a US patrolman in October. In September another man picnicking on the banks of the Rio Grande in Nuevo Laredo was killed by a US agent while. Both victims were on the Mexican side of the border when the shootings took place. The Mexican foreign relations department has demanded a thorough investigation of the incidents. The US side has initiated an internal review of its officers and their use of force; however, critics are concerned about its legitimacy. "There will never be confidence in a review being done by the agency itself," said Alonzo Pena, a former Department of Homeland Security attaché at the US Embassy in Mexico City. The Customs and Border Protection Agency has said that the review should be published by the end of January 2013. CAH/HGH